Submission to Boundary Commission


Re: Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown electoral areas

Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to make a submission in relation to the electoral boundaries for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

Council numbers

The terms of reference for the Commission state that “there should be one member for every 4,830 population in each council area”, subject to a maximum total of 40 members. As the population of the county according to the 2011 census is 206,261 this equates to 42.7 members. However I assume the Commission will apply the maximum number of 40 for Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, and my submission is based on that number.

I welcome the significant overall national reduction in the number of councillors and the proposed rationalisation of local government structures. While I recognise that nationally Dun Laoghaire Rathdown is under-represented in terms of the number of councillors I believe the Council could continue to carry out its work efficiently with the existing number of 28 councillors. Indeed there is a case to be made that a larger number of councillors for this county could hinder the efficient running of the council as well as being an additional burden on rate payers.

East/west axis

The last Commission noted that the county is seen as being an eastern part and a western part and that this east/west axis is also reflected in the Council’s area committee structure. It also mirrors the 2 major towns in the county, with Dun Laoghaire in the east and Dundrum in the west.

This area committee structure works very well and I would recommend that the wards be configured in a way to facilitate the continuation of this structure.

This east/west axis is also reflected in the ward structure with 3 wards in the east – Blackrock, Dun Laoghaire and Ballybrack and 3 wards in the west – Stillorgan, Dundrum and Glencullen/Sandyford.

I believe the Commission also needs to be conscious of the problems associated with large wards in an urban area. Wards of a large size (9 to 10 seats) would have a councillor supporting anywhere between 46,000 and 51,500. I believe it would be difficult for a councillor to cover a population of that size, considering the lack of any administrative back up.  I would argue therefore for a ward size in the range of 6 to 8 seats.

Assuming 40 Council members, I believe the optimum arrangement would be one based around the existing 6 wards, and ward sizes of 6 to 8 seats. I believe the logical arrangement is for 3 wards in the west of the county of 6 seats each totalling 18 seats, and 3 wards in the east totalling 22 seats.

Eastern wards – Dun Laoghaire constituency

My submission is concerned with only the three eastern wards. My submission would recommend:

a)      No changes should be made to the electoral boundaries of the Blackrock ward. The new Blackrock ward would have a population equivalent for 6 seats.

b)      Make no changes to the Dun Laoghaire ward. Population is now equivalent to 8 seats.

c)      The transfer of the Foxrock-Carrickmines electoral area from the old Stillorgan ward and the transfer of the Cabinteely-Loughlinstown electoral area from the old Glencullen-Sandyford ward, with both electoral areas to be transferred to the existing Ballybrack ward. Both these electoral areas were previously part of the Ballybrack ward. Ballybrack would have a population equivalent to 8 seats.

This structure would meet the terms of reference of the Commission in terms of:

  1. Local electoral areas designed around the large towns and urban centres of Blackrock, Dun Laoghaire and Ballybrack.
  2. Taking account of “existing local authority electoral and administrative areas”, with a minimum of alterations to existing wards.
  3. “The number of councillors should typically be 7 and not more than 10 or less than 6”
  4.  The variance of each electoral area is within the range of +/- 10%




Cllr. Marie Baker

38 Avondale Lawn



phone 288 7713

Mobile 086 8186704



Twitter @blackrockette

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